Last Updated on January 1, 2023 by Bernard Juchli
You want to know how to open a trunk without key from the outside if you’ve just misplaced your key or locked it in the trunk. Well, you’re now stuck outside, and getting a locksmith may not be a quick, go-to option.
Fortunately, you can unlock your trunk from the outside. But you need to be careful not to damage the lock or even the car paint—a standard paint job costs hundreds of dollars, and requires sanding and rust removal. A car paint job can cost you anywhere from a few hundred dollars to up to $10,000 or more, depending on factors like finishes, needed repairs, paint quality/color, and vehicle size.
How to open a trunk without key from the outside
Although you can open your car trunk from the outside without a key, you need to understand that cars are built differently. Before you pick any method mentioned here, you need to find out if it is suitable for your situation—you could always use the comment section for our assistance on this. Make sure to include your vehicle make, model, and model year.
Do the following to open your trunk without a key from the outside:
1. Know your car
If you need to open the trunk yourself without the services of a locksmith, you want to know a little about your car model and make. The anatomy of your trunk lock should be available in the manual, or you can look it up online to know how your car’s trunk lock is designed.
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Usually, a trunk lock in a car uses 2 main parts, including the cylinder and latch. The latch lets you open and close the trunk, while the cylinder houses the keyhole.
The cylinder also contains several pins that require an alignment to turn the key to unlock the door.
2. Look for the emergency release in your car
Many modern vehicles feature an emergency release cable you could make use of if locked out and need to access your car from the boot or trunk. Besides, a mandate in 2002 required vehicles to feature a standard glow-in-the-dark trunk-release lever. This will open the trunk of a car from the inside during an emergency.
You can tell the type when you look into your user manual. The cables can be challenging to find and could be a small hole through the rear fender—just large enough for a few fingers to stick in.
The cable should have a handle to pull on the other end to unlatch the trunk immediately after you find and access it. Your car may not feature an emergency release cable, but make sure to fully verify this.
3. Open your trunk with a wire hanger
If you have no spare key and are locked outside your trunk, a wire hanger may help. However, a wire hanger only works on cars designed with an interior trunk release button. Be sure to confirm this feature in your car before purchasing a wire hanger from your local auto shop.
Note: You need to be careful when using the wire hanger as it can damage your car paint.
How to open trunk from outside with wire hanger
When you get the wire hanger, create a small hook by bending the end of the hanger in the form of a hook.
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Insert the hook end between the trunk and the backseat of your vehicle. Push the hook in until you feel resistance. Next, reach behind the backseat and try to find the knob or lever that unlocks the trunk or boot. Pull or push on the lever—your trunk should now be open.
However, if you can’t locate the lever, probe around with the wire hanger till you find it to open the trunk.
4. Unlock trunk with a Slim Jim tool
A slim jim tool is another way to unlock a trunk without a key from the outside. A slim jim tool is a long, thin piece of metal you can slide between the window and weather stripping of a vehicle.
To open your trunk, you need the slim jim to access and unlock the trunk from the inside. Slim jims are sold at auto parts stores or online. You can further ask the vendor about using it to open your door.
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To open the door with a Slim Jim, insert it between the vehicle’s weather stripping and window. Look for the latch inside the car and hook it with the end of your Slim Jim. Pull the trunk latch to open it.
5. Contact a locksmith
If you can’t open your trunk without a key from the exterior using the methods above, consider the services of a locksmith.
Locksmiths typically use special tools capable of opening just any trunk or door if necessary. You can be confident that no damage will be inflicted on your paint, so contact your local locksmith.
The method mentioned here is obviously not done on all cars. So, follow the instructions in the first step which talks about understanding f anatomy of your car lock. This should help to determine what methods work the best for opening the trunk of your car from the outside if you have no keys.